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Topics: Democracy, Voting, Election Pages: 1 (355 words) Published: October 9, 2014
The advantages and disadvantages of referendums
There are a number of advantages to using referendums as a way to make big decisions. The biggest reason is the fact that direct democracy is the fairest and purest way of making decisions as it is entirely up to the people to decide. Whilst you would not regularly use referendums to deal with every issue that parliament would have to deal with, they are a very good way of dealing with a single, important issue. Referendums are also good for the electorate. Many people believe that voting in general elections is pointless, largely because they believe that their vote doesn’t really count in the grand scheme of things, especially if you live in an area where your party is always voted in second. However with referendums, every vote counts, and the electorate recognise this and as a result turn out in massive numbers. This also strengthens the support of the political system in the people. It encourages people to become better educated in politics, whilst providing politicians with an insight into the electorate’s opinions. However there are also a large amount of disadvantages when it comes to referendums. The most obvious is that it blatantly undermines the representative democracy system used in this country, which generally works quite well. Many of the disadvantages with regards to referendums are evident in the current Scottish independence referendum. For example, if the result is close, countries will often feel divided over the issue. This is the case in Scotland, where the polls indicate that the result is going to be very close, and there are definite tensions on the streets between the supporters of the two campaigns, with many no voters saying that they get abuse in the street if they publically show their choice. There are problems with letting the public make such large decisions, as they will often be the wrong ones. People in this country tend to have ignorance towards politics, and so when these...
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